Use it or lose it. Don’t leave an iPod “dormant.” Turn it off every time you finish using it, and run the battery down at least once a month to keep its “little lithium ion happy.”
Stick to MP3 or AAC files. Bigger files (WAV, AIFF, Apple Lossless) are tough on an iPod’s “battery-driven hard drive.” Keep those on your computer; they sound better on a home audio system anyway.
Adjust settings. Turn off the backlight, unless you really need it. It’s also smart to deactivate the equalizer by setting it to “flat.”
Keep at room temperature. Extreme cold will make an iPod’s battery “sluggish,” while extreme heat—meaning any temperature over 95 degrees—can cause permanent damage.
Source: The Hartford Courant